Tickets for the 2008-2009 season of the Metropolitan Opera HD LIVE at the State Theatre will go on sale this Friday August 22, 2008. Be forewarned that last season most operas sold out fast. As in the past, general seating applies. The first of the 11 transmissions–the Opening Night Gala starring Renee Fleming–takes place on Monday September 22. All seats: $20.

If you think you’ll enjoy a cozy Saturday in March watching Madama Butterfly, now’s the time to plan ahead. And don’t forget to call ahead for reservations at your favorite après-opera cafe. Our MyNorth dining guide is a good place to get phone numbers and hours of operation.

For tickets to Metropolitan Opera at Traverse City’s State Theater, visit the State Theatre tab to the right on [].

Opening Night Gala Starring Renée Fleming La Traviata (Act II) – Verdi
Manon (Act III) – Massenet Capriccio (Final Scene) – Richard Strauss

Conductors: James Levine and Marco Armiliato; Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas, Thomas Hampson, Dwayne Croft     And here’s what’s planned for the rest of the season—

Salome –Strauss Saturday, October 11, 2008 (1:00 pm ET)

Karita Mattila caused a sensation when she sang Salome at the Met for the first time in 2004. She reprises her stunning interpretation of the part, including her unforgettable Dance of the Seven Veils.

Conductor: Mikko Franck; Production: Jürgen Flimm; Karita Mattila, Ildikó Komlósi, Juha Uusitalo, Kim Begley, Joseph Kaiser      

Doctor Atomic (Met Premiere) – Adams Saturday, November 8, 2008 (1:00 pm ET)

John Adams’s contemporary masterpiece explores a momentous episode of modern history: the creation of the atomic bomb. Director Penny Woolcock makes her Met debut with this gripping story that changed the course of history. Baritone Gerald Finley plays J. Robert Oppenheimer, the title character.

Conductor: Alan Gilbert; Production: Penny Woolcock; Sasha Cooke, Meredith Arwady, Gerald Finley, Eric Owens, Richard Paul Fink      

La Damnation de Faust (New Production) – Berlioz Saturday, November 22, 2008 (1:00 pm ET)

Robert Lepage, one of theater’s most imaginative directors, applies his artistry to Berlioz’s contemplation of good and evil. Using projections, Lepage has created a vision for La Damnation de Faust that seamlessly marries art and technology. Marcello Giordani stars in the title role opposite Susan Graham as Marguerite and John Relyea as Méphistophélès. James Levine conducts this rarely staged masterwork.

Conductor: James Levine; Production: Robert Lepage; Susan Graham, Marcello Giordani, John Relyea      

Thaïs (New Production) – Massenet Saturday, December 20, 2008 (12:00 pm ET)

Renée Fleming stars as the Egyptian courtesan in search of spiritual sustenance. Thomas Hampson is the monk who falls from grace. Massenet’s sensual opera is presented in a new production by John Cox.

Conductor: Jesús López-Cobos; Production: John Cox; Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson, Michael Schade      

La Rondine (New Production) – Pucci Saturday, January 10, 2009 (1:00 pm ET)

Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna provide the star power to deliver this ravishing romance from the world’s most popular opera composer. Gheorghiu plays the kept woman who gambles on true love, and Alagna is the man who makes her question the cost of her glittering existence. Nicolas Joël directs the new production of this gorgeously melodic look at love.

Conductor: Marco Armiliato; Production: Nicolas Joël; Angela Gheorghiu, Lisette Oropesa, Roberto Alagna, Marius Brenciu, Samuel Ramey      

Orfeo ed Euridice – Gluck Saturday, January 24, 2009 (1:00 pm ET)

Mark Morris’s acclaimed production returns. This complete vision for Gluck, with choreography by Morris and costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, features the artistry of Stephanie Blythe in the male title role. The alluring Danielle de Niese is Orfeo’s adored wife, Euridice, who inspires the hero to face the underworld for her sake. Music Director James Levine conducts.

Conductor: James Levine; Production: Mark Morris; Stephanie Blythe, Danielle de Niese      

Lucia di Lammermoor – Donizetti Saturday, February 7, 2009 (1:00 pm ET)

Anna Netrebko sings the title role of Donizetti’s fragile heroine for the first time at the Met, with tenor Rolando Villazón in the part of her lover, Edgardo. Baritone Mariusz Kwiecien is her tyrannical brother. Mary Zimmerman’s hit production is staged as a Victorian ghost story.

Conductor: Marco Armiliato; Production: Mary Zimmerman; Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón, Mariusz Kwiecien, Ildar Abdrazakov      

Madama Butterfly – Puccini Saturday, March 7, 2009 (1:00 pm ET)

Cristina Gallardo-Domâs returns to the title role of Anthony Minghella’s stunning production, a new classic of the Met repertory, opposite Marcello Giordani.

Conductor: Patrick Summers; Production: Anthony Minghella; Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, Marcello Giordani      

La Sonnambula (New Production) – Bellini Saturday, March 21, 2009 (1:00 pm ET)

Mary Zimmerman, who directed Natalie Dessay in last season’s hit production of Lucia di Lammermoor, underlines La Sonnambula’s dual elements of sleep and wakefulness in an intriguing staging set in the present. Bellini’s hauntingly lyrical score soars as performed by Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, back from their sensational run together in La Fille du Régiment.

Conductor: Evelino Pidò; Production: Mary Zimmerman; Natalie Dessay, Juan Diego Flórez, Michele Pertusi      

La Cenerentola – Rossini Saturday, May 9, 2009 (12:30 pm ET)

Hot on the heels of her triumphant Met debut as Rosina in last season’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, El?na Garan?a portrays another Rossini charmer in this bel canto Cinderella story. Lawrence Brownlee is her Prince Charming. Veteran baritone Alessandro Corbelli demonstrates his impeccable comic timing to match the gravitas of Met favorite John Relyea.

Conductor: Maurizio Benini; Production: Cesare Lievi; El?na Garan?a, Lawrence Brownlee, Simone Alberghini, Alessandro Corbelli, John Relyea

*Programs and casting subject to change. Running times are approximate.